(FWF Project P 28112-G25: 01.08.2015 – 31.07.2020)

The Scythica Vindobonensia, the new fragments on Gothic incursions into Roman provinces in the Balkans in the middle of the third century AD, are among the most important new additions to the Corpus of texts from classical antiquity. Coming most probably from the Scythica of the third-century historian Dexippus of Athens, the fragments have survived in the Codex Historicus gr. 73 of the Austrian National Library in Vienna as the lower text of four palimpsest folios (192r–195v). For the discovery see Grusková, Untersuchungen, 2010, 51–53, for a preliminary transcription of the text on fols. 192v, 193r, 194rv, and 195rv see the articles by Gunther Martin and Jana Grusková listed in the Bibliography below.

This project aims at revealing, editing and examining these new historiographical and historical fragments, thus providing a solid textual basis and a point of reference for a wide range of further studies. The palaeography, codicology and book history of the manuscript are also being analysed. Jana Grusková with external support by Gunther Martin is further deciphering the fragments. The main output of the project will be a monograph that will contain a critical edition, a full commentary on the text, as well as extended studies on particular issues (authorship etc.), and images of the Vienna palimpsest. New spectral imaging with improved methods, carried out by Early Manuscripts Electronic Library and X-ray fluorescence imaging in cooperation with the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY (Hamburg) and the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM, Berlin) are being used to recover still hidden parts of the erased text.

Extended studies on selected historical, prosopographical, epigraphical and geographical aspects are being prepared by F. Mitthof, O. Gengler, K. Lappé.

An international conference "Empire in crisis: Gothic invasions and Roman historiography" was organized as part of the project on 3 to 6 May 2017 in Vienna. The proceedings volume has been published in TYCHE Supplementband 12, Holzhausen Verlag, Wien 2020 (see here the publication). The volume unites a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions on invasions of Goths and other Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire, focusing primarily on the third century CE. The contributions explore the Scythica Vindobonensia alias Dexippus Vindobonensis in their historical and historiographical contexts, from the Roman to the Byzantine Era, and the history of the invasions themselves.

Project team


Project Partner


Publications on the Scythica Vindobonensia

preliminary transcription

Publication on the discovery

Publications on the Scythica Vindobonensia (in chronological order)


Fritz Mitthof (project leader, University of Vienna, Department of Ancient History, Papyrology and Epigraphy)

Otto Kresten (national research partner, Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Jana Grusková (project collaborator, Austrian Academy of Sciences)